Download Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and by Scott Korb, Robert K. Bolger PDF

By Scott Korb, Robert K. Bolger

Requested in 2006 in regards to the philosophical nature of his fiction, the past due American author David Foster Wallace responded, "If a few humans learn my fiction and spot it as essentially approximately philosophical principles, what it most likely ability is that those are items the place the characters are usually not as alive and engaging as I intended them to be."

Gesturing towards truth seems into this caliber of Wallace's work-when the author dons the philosopher's cap-and sees anything else. With essays supplying a cautious perusal of Wallace's wide and seriously annotated self-help library, re-considerations of Wittgenstein's impression on his fiction, and critical explorations into the ethical and religious panorama the place Wallace lived and wrote, this assortment deals a point of view on Wallace that even he used to be no longer constantly able to see. due to the fact loads has been stated in particularly literary circles approximately Wallace's philosophical acumen, it sort of feels ordinary to have people with an curiosity in either philosophy and Wallace's writing tackle how those parts come jointly.

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Additional resources for Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and Philosophy

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All sorts of tremors. The good days are the days I’m awake and aware enough to feel them. Overcoming epistemic obstacles: Or, how to care about the stranger Wallace’s suggestion for overcoming the epistemological and solipsistic effects of innate selfishness is twofold. First, we must learn to be aware enough of our thoughts to recognize that some of our beliefs are utterly selfish and, quite possibly, wrong. This involves an act of attentive awareness to what we think and a certain amount of epistemic humility about what we think we are certain of.

Montgomery (New York: Dover, 2005), 9. The Subsurface Unity of All Things 21 Readers of academic philosophy may be interested in the modal logic of “Richard Taylor’s ‘Fatalism’ and the Semantics of Physical Modality,” but what is there for Wallace’s (large) nonphilosophical readership, used as it is to a very different tone and very different topics, in his thesis? A ready answer is nothing whatsoever. But a better, if hidden, one is that in it is the most important idea of all, the one that links together all his works, all his most passionate thinking.

When Leibniz took up the same question two millennia later, he asked whether Aristotle’s pupil, Alexander the Great, was fated to command, live, and die as he did. 4 This leads Leibniz fitfully close to fatalism, the idea that free will is an illusion. ) Given the metaphysical thickets encountered when we talk about fate and free will, contingency and necessity, it is no surprise that logicians have sought to clarify the question, or that, to that end, they have crafted specialized tools. In the fullness of time, Aristotle’s sea battle gave rise to modal logic—the branch of formal logic concerned with possibility and necessity—and thereby to David Foster Wallace’s youthful attempt to use modal logic to refute arguments in favor of fatalism.

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